After three teams, and having the same problem with all three, most of us would start to suspect that we were the real problem.
Not T.O., who is burning down the third locker room of his career. Before this season, I honestly thought that as long as Owens had Tony Romo as quarterback, that things would stay relatively peaceful for him in Dallas. When Romo took over as the starting quarterback in 2006, it made a huge difference in the Cowboys’ season, and mainly because the young Romo appeared to force the ball to Owens whenever he could. Not only did it keep the peace, but at the time it appeared to actually work in terms of sparking the offense.
But now Romo is not the naive rookie starter he was then, he is old enough to realize what an asset he has in his tight end Jason Witten. But T.O., on the other hand, has not grown up. And now the rest of us know that what looked like a good quarterback-receiver relationship was really just a season-and-a-half long honeymoon. Even if the Cowboys smooth things over long enough to make a playoff run, we know T.O.’s track record and so we know this relationship will end soon.
If T.O. burns his bridges in Dallas, where else does he have to turn? Oakland?
It doesn’t always have to be like that, however. Randy Moss had often been compared to T.O. He had some rocky beginnings in Minnesota, and then went to the football wasteland that is the aforementioned Oakland Raiders – where some accused him of intentionally dropping passes. But I have watched every game Moss has played as a New England Patriot. I honestly believe that he does NOT take any plays off. On a weekly basis, he impresses me by throwing crucial downfield blocks. But most importantly, since Brady’s injury, he has stepped into a leadership role as an offensive captain. He has never said an unsupportive word about Matt Cassell – in spite of the fact that Wes Welker gets more balls than Moss does week after week, in spite of the fact that Cassell continually short armed passes to a wide open Moss on deep routes for the entire first half of the season.
Of course, the danger in writing this is that Moss could turn around and prove me wrong next week. He did have assault allegations brought against him during last season’s playoffs, but those allegations never panned out, leading me to consider that Moss was telling the truth about the incident. But for the time being, I honestly think Randy Moss has done what T.O. has not
(and probably never will). He has grown up.